For the past week or so, I’ve been sharing posts on Facebook related to the Kermit Gosnell trial.
This story has caught my attention for two reasons. One, because it’s horrific and touches on a topic that has been stirring me for a couple decades now. Two, because I was in disbelief it wasn’t being covered by many mainstream media outlets.
We live in America, a country that heralds the freedom of the press and the need to shine light on that which is hidden. And yet, so much silence. Why?
Yesterday, Marc Lamont Hill of the HuffPost Live said this:
“For what it’s worth, I do think that those of us on the left have made a decision not to cover this trial because we worry that it’ll compromise abortion rights. Whether you agree with abortion or not, I do think there’s a direct connection between the media’s failure to cover this and our own political commitments on the left. I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s dangerous, but I think that’s the way it is.”
Normally I tackle faith issues on Friday, so why this on Writing Wednesday? Because it’s the writer in me that is most disappointed in how this all went down, and how so much of the media failed to do its job in shining a light on this atrocity.
Thankfully, more attention has been garnered now, and some apologies even have been made. But while we’re making up for lost time, I think it’s time to self-reflect. We can’t not report on something because of the above-mentioned reason — because we are afraid of what it might do for our cause. What is more important? A cause or truth? I would say that causes informed by truth are the most important of all. But a cause that shirks truth is dangerous.
So today I’m doing what little I can do as a citizen and communicator. I’m shining a light on Gosnell and hoping that rather than looking away and saying, “Oh, that’s just gross. I don’t want to watch/read that,” you’ll take a look and see what’s been going on behind closed doors.
Now that more of the mainstream media is waking up and owning up, I’m willing to move past the poor judgment and move on. We all deserve a pass or two. We’re all imperfect together. But let’s also move on together. Let’s not, now, minimize this trial and let it go before we’ve had a chance to truly absorb its implications. Let’s give it its due. Let’s allow it to tell us something that might be hard to see, but that can free us once we know it. Not just those on the right or those on the left, but all of humanity.
All is not lost. We can still learn from Gosnell. And to me, that learning starts now, by being honest about it and not being afraid of exposing injustice.
We owe it to the women who were maimed, and to the babies who thought they’d seen light only for that light to be snuffed out and life extinguished before they’d had a chance to look into their mother’s eyes.
The only way I can think to end such a post is with a prayer (thus faith does enter in now…):
God bless all involved in this tragedy. Have mercy on our wounded world. Give us eyes to see and hearts to feel and words to share to help us learn and heal.